Apple patent application indicates future iPhones might get foldable design

Apple patent application reveals inward, outward foldable design, hints at a three-fold form factor

Foldable display smartphones seem to be the next big trend on Android this year. However, it’s not just the leading Android OEMs working on the foldable phones. A recent patent spotted by Forbes reveals that Apple might join the bandwagon too.

Apple patent application indicates future iPhones might get foldable design

Apple. Reuters.

The patent application which is said to be filed on 14 February suggests that the Cupertino tech company is still experimenting with concepts for a foldable iPhone.

Apple had been working on multiple concepts for bendable displays for many years now. The flexible display-related patent applications that began popping up online in the past years includes a strap-like bracelet with a flexible display that was revealed in 2013. The latest folding phone patent application provides details about how the foldable display might work.

Apple's latest patent application shows inward and outward foldable design. Image: USPTO

Apple's latest patent application shows inward and outward foldable design. Image: USPTO

The illustrations in the patent application indicate that the foldable iPhone might have both an inward and outward bendable design. One of the sketches in the patent application shows that the phone could bend to a ‘pyramid shape’ quite similar to the foldable display phone, the Royole Flexpai. Another sketch reveals the folding iPhone with a book-style design where the screen wraps around the outside of the device. Notably, this sketch corroborates with the previous illustration revealing a double-fold design that surfaced online last year.

A few sketches in the latest patent application indicate that a double-folding design with two hinges could form three layers of the main body. Notably, Apple’s latest patent application was filed on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under the title “Flexible Display Devices.”

While some of the illustrations seemingly confirm Apple to be still working on a folding iPhone, these are concept ideas which should be taken with a grain of salt. Previous reports have suggested that the company is working on a foldable display that would allow a device the size of an iPhone to bend into a device with a screen size similar to an iPad mini.

But as mentioned earlier, these are just reports and concepts that have long been hovering on the Internet with no concrete details or word from Apple’s end.

Speaking of the actual foldable display device, Samsung is widely anticipated to showcase its foldable Galaxy phone at its major Unpacked event this week. Among other OEMs, Huawei, Oppo, Nubia, LG, and even Microsoft are also rumoured to be working on smartphones with foldable displays.

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